Group Seeks High-Speed Broadband In Every Home

Jun 24, 2008 (10:06 AM EDT)

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A list of who's who on the Internet came together to promote a new group that launched Tuesday to expand broadband demand and deployment.

They announced during the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City Tuesday. The group said it would bring together Internet users, content creators, and innovators to make universal, affordable, high-speed access a national priority.

Some of them, including Stanford Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig, Columbia professor and author, Timothy Wu, Google VP and Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, and FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, already are on board and attended the launch.

The group -- announced by Free Press and supported by many of that organization's members -- said that high-speed Internet is a necessity, not a luxury, for education, the economy, free speech, and America's ability to lead.

Their goal is "to see that every American gets connected to a fast, affordable, and open Internet." They called it a "basic right" that should be afforded to all Americans.

A list of Internet users' rights, outlined by, also includes the group's goal of ensuring online commerce in "an open market without gatekeepers or discrimination." For Free Press and other members, that means network neutrality. Network neutrality proponents argue that cable and telecommunications companies should be required by the government to allow users to access Web sites and applications without regard for the source or content. Opponents of network neutrality say that the free market and competition should dictate the way networks are managed. said it will look to national leaders to adopt a plan to deliver high-speed connections to every home.